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A breath test isn’t necessarily accurate

On Behalf of | May 31, 2024 | Firm News

It’s easy to understand how a field sobriety test could be inaccurate. Maybe you were pulled over and you just didn’t hear the police officer clearly, and so you failed the test. Or maybe you performed the test successfully, but the officer just made a judgment call and decided that you didn’t pass. Field sobriety tests are not a very scientific process.

On the other hand, a breath test certainly does feel like a scientific process. The chemical test measures the amount of alcohol in your blood, and (most) drivers are not supposed to break the legal limit of 0.08%. But even if you take a test that says you’re over the legal limit, don’t assume the breath test is completely accurate.

Why would it be wrong?

For one thing, the breath test is only as accurate as the officer administering that test. If they make a mistake, then the results may not accurately portray your blood alcohol concentration (BAC).

Similarly, maintenance, upkeep and calibration need to be carried out on these testing devices periodically. If the officer or the police department was negligent and didn’t do this upkeep, the test could be wrong.

Finally, something else could be influencing the test, other than your blood alcohol concentration. Perhaps you just used mouthwash before getting in the car, for instance, and it contained alcohol. If there is still alcohol in your mouth, your breast test results could be too high.

Challenging the results

The above shows why you should never assume you’re going to be convicted or that the evidence against you is accurate. There are always legal options if you’ve been arrested, so be sure you know what defense tactics to use.